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Other investments and infrastructures

The March 2020 budget announcement included:

“In order to improve our understanding of how to reduce the burden of illness in the future, the government is committing £12 million of new funding for the National Institute for Health Research to invest in prevention research, supporting local authorities to grow their research capabilities for the longer term.”

These investments include
Fuse is also hosting one of the first four NIHR Public Health Intervention Response Studies Team (PHIRST) (£1,5M), in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and the University of Sheffield. The team will pilot a new innovative national scheme developed by NIHR PHR that will enable Local Authorities to rapidly evaluate work aiming to improve health and tackle inequalities in their areas. The team is led by Fuse Director Ashley Adamson and builds on the expertise and experience of the Fuse rapid response and evaluation service ‘AskFuse’, which is managed by Peter van der Graaf, Fuse Knowledge Exchange Broker, who is also on the team. The team, described by members as ‘AskFuse on steroids at a national level’, is complementing both schemes by building capacity in responsive research with researchers and knowledge brokers across jurisdictions that enables a rapid response to the research and evidence needs of local government. PHIRST also builds on the successful PHPES in the NIHR School for Public Health Research.

Other PHIRST teams include Cardiff & Bristol PHIRST lead by Prof Rona Campbell (Bristol) and ENABLE-UK Consortium member Simon Murphy; PHIRST London and Central PHIRST.

NIHR Local Authority Research System call: Exploring how to support local government health research NIHR Public Health Research has recently granted 12 £50K awards to fund the exploration of how a local authority might form the basis of a research system that will enable that authority to become research active. A further call is expected soon.

Funded research sessions for Directors of Public Health/consultants in Public Health to give time to develop academic partnerships, use evidence more, and participate in or even lead research relevant to their practice and population.

LA embedded research support posts to employ local-authority-based NIHR CRN staff who can support the use of research to generate evidence for local decision-making, participation in research and leadership of research in local government.

Expansion of the NIHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) to explore ways for individuals in LAs who are committed to a career in research to experience the NIHR.

An extension of the HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) programme to start in 2021 specifically for public health and social care practitioners within LAs who are looking to integrate a research career with continued service provision and practice.

NIHR intention to offer pre-doctoral and doctoral fellowships in 2021 to individuals based within local authorities and LA commissioned services.
Further details can be found here and here.

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